The Invisible Man
The Way Back
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Better Call Saul
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There is a rarity that can be applied to Uncut Gems: you really feel like you're going to have an anxiety attack. If you don't, you're not watching the film right. From the first time you meet Howard, you get the impression that he screws up his dealings often, but that's just an introduction to the damage his addiction has left in his wake. From there, we are exposed to the rest of said damage, and Howard is seemingly oblivious to it, but he becomes less so throughout the film. He is an adrenaline junkie, literally. The rush of making bets and winning money is unmatched in his world, and in the end, we don't truly know whether he won or lost, but his addiction is the real winner. And the Safdie brothers make you feel the rush of adrenaline that Howard feels, but instead of doses, you feel it throughout the entirety of the runtime, save for about 10 minutes, just like the way Howard feels it over the course of the three days we're with him. I couldn't help but empathize with him simply because I feel sorry for him and nothing goes right for him. But also because of the anxiety you get, you are, in a way, in his shoes, making you feel for him even more. This is Sandler's movie, and while all of the supporting cast is great, Sandler has complete control over every scene he's in, no matter how chaotic the film gets. I would only change a few technical details about the ending, but absolutely nothing in terms of plot, especially how it ends. Even the score deserves some credit, as it is in a few ways, reminiscent of that of the Departed (one of my favorite films) while cementing itself as its own thing. This is not a film for everyone, but I highly recommend you check it out if you think it is.
My new favorite 2019 new release. It is a testament to the editing and direction that this film went as fast as it did, save for a few slightly slower moments during the first 45 minutes. It felt like 2 1/2 hours to me. The de-aging only threw me off twice, but it was still done pretty well in those instances. In all other instances, it was immaculate. They did not take any variation of a lazy route with this aspect of the film. I can't compare it to Goodfellas due to how different the two are, but I can say that I loved it just as much. Scorsese started my love for movies with The Departed when I was 7 or 8. Since then, I have watched nearly every film he has made, and I can safely say that this is his magnum opus. The cast have all brought more than their A-game and then some, as has Scorsese, Schoonmaker, and Steven Zaillian with a top-tier script. The runtime is earned, and the film is more than profound — it's human.
Bleak, morbid and haunting. Definitely disturbing. But it feels so real. No character or setting feels outlandish. The cinematography is on point. The score even more so. Todd Phillips' directing is more assured than ever. The screenplay is realistic to the point of being unsettling. De Niro brings his A-game for what little screen time he has. Zazie Beetz holds her own and is great, but Joaquin Phoenix is even better than the hype led me to believe. The reveals keep on coming and then they start to affect how you have seen all that came before. But the ending of the film takes the cake, since you now question everything you've seen, and wondered just what was real and what was in Arthur's head. And it gives you no hints and trusts you to be able to figure that out, demanding multiple viewings. All while using the few actual nods to the comics and the more prominent nods to Scorsese's film to chilling effect, making for a profound cinematic experience, especially when seeing it in 70mm, which not only harkens back to the time the film is set in, but more importantly, makes you feel like you're there, bearing witness to the fruition of Arthur's madness. I was taken aback, wowed, and above all, shaken.
Epic is the only way to describe the scale of this film, both physically and emotionally. It concludes the 22-film Infinity Saga in a way that makes perfect seem like a disaster. Nothing and no one felt out of place in the film, and while it's risks may prove divisive, they were not without merit. Not to mention the three-hour runtime flying by and not letting up. Anyone who's ever watch an MCU film before this owes it to themselves to see how it all ends.
I honestly can say that this film was truly an experience. I loved the risks that it took and this film is all the better for them. I had the theater all to myself and burst into song many times along with the film. I felt the highs, and the lows even more so. Taron Egerton's performance seriously reflects the tonal scale of the film. If there is an award more prestigious than the Academy Award, please award it to this man. The rest of the cast does outstanding. It felt perfectly paced and structured and it ended at a fantastic point. Taron Egerton IS Elton Hercules John.